Interactive Auditory Scatter Plot appeared on Infosthetics Blog

Interactive Auditory Scatter Plot appeared on Infosthetics Blog

Oct 7, 2010. | By: Eckard Riedenklau

The “Interactive Auditory Scatter Plot” just appeared on the Information Aesthetics Blog :

“How do you visualize complex data for people… who cannot see? Researchers at the Bielefeld University (Germany) propose a sophisticated solution []: they combined a set of physical objects that can autonomously move with sonification, or the generation of data-driven sounds. This non-visual visualization method should allow visually impaired people to explore multivariate data through the alternative representation of scatterplots. Based on some past insights on multi-touch enabled visual display, this approach overcomes the obvious problems in terms of visualization and interaction.

How does it work? The researchers created a 2D transformation of the spatially distributed data into the audio-haptic domain. First, a set of cube objects physically move to locations that correspond to the most explicit data clusters on a horizontal screen. These constellations can then be perceived (i.e. felt) by users. By moving a physical object over a screen, specific sounds are emitted so that the local characteristics of the data distribution can be distinguished. Or, in other words, the frequency of a continuously emitted sonic stream corresponds to the local density of the data. When an object is released, a local data sonogram is created, yielding an audible spherical sweep through the data space at the location of the object. Still sounds too complex? Then watch a demonstration video below.”

Thank you very much, Andrew


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This work was supported by the
Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC)